The following is a guest post by @ThatOutdoorGuy.
From time to time, I encounter adventures that are so over the top that I find my voice level rising each time I describe them to others. High Point Climbing and Fitness is the most unique of these adventures because it is located in the heart of the “tourist district” in Downtown Chattanooga.
This isn’t my first time to visit an indoor climbing center; it’s just my first time to be blown away by one, and rightly so, as it is one of the largest downtown climbing centers in nation.
After my curiosity was seriously amplified during a recent conversation at Rock/Creek North Shore, I packed up my son and we headed down to check things out. Greeted by a rambunctious staff, I knew we were in for a treat.
What took place over the next two hours is still in the forefront of my thoughts, as we were given an amazing informational tour —- and orientation —- where all of my questions were answered, along with many I didn’t even know to ask as a novice climber. Follow along with me, if you too are a beginning climber, and look through my eyes at what blew me away!
We actually started our tour of “The Block” in the Rock/Creek at The Block store, located adjacent to High Point. Rivers and Nakota—the employees working that day—were a plethora of useful information. Their excitement at being a part of the newest Rock Creek location was evident in the way they answered questions about the very unique “adventure boutique”.
Stocked with more fashionable outdoor-inspired styles—especially for women—than I’ve ever seen in one location, what really impressed me most were the large displays of high-quality locally-sourced brands, including Granola—chalk bags, backpacks, and the coolest “coffee kit” I’ve ever seen, which includes gourmet coffee from local supplier Velo Coffees—and Luwazo apparel, which prides itself on being “Crafted in the USA”, and “Made For Adventures”. Climbing gear from Black Diamond, Patagonia, Petzl, and Sterling Ropes adorn one wall, while large fashion displays from Horny Toad, Kavu, Prana, and Patagonia complement the technical items.
As I mentioned, the moment we walked into High Point Climbing and Fitness, I knew we were in for a huge adventure! I just didn’t realize how huge! 23,000 sf of floor space big! 28,000 sf of wall surface area—and growing—with 5,000 sf of that surface area located outside! It seems impossible that they’ve only been open since this past December (2013), for they are truly on top of their game, the way only well-seasoned businesses usually are.
Here are links to everything you need to know about hours, rates, the facility, etc.
If you’re like me, just thinking about trying to park downtown makes my head spin, but I was very pleased to learn that they’ve got that covered, as well, with several options available. A few include: a $1 per visit validation in the EPB Parking Garage, $2 until 4 p.m. in the Majestic Theater parking lot by entering “501” during your parking spot processing, loads of hourly city parking spots surround the building, up to adding $20 to your monthly/paid membership to park there in the EPB Parking Garage, in “The Block”.
The on-site gym, which features an extensive Free Motion circuit, dumbbells ranging from 5 to 100 lbs., with more free weight equipment arriving very soon, and a fleet of cardio equipment, is further amplified by Yoga and Spin classes. These workout options are open to members and guests, ages 14 and up, and are part of a monthly or prepaid membership, as well as to Day Pass visitors. There are full locker rooms with showers and lockers. In other words, your membership really does have its rewards!
On Saturday, July 12th, High Point Climbing and Fitness will offer an Adaptive Climbing Clinic for those with physical disabilities.
Here’s a link to more information, or call 423-602-7626 for more information: http://highpointclimbing.com/adaptive-climbing-clinic/
Now for a quick run-down of all the climbing options:
- Walls range in height from 20 to 40 feet indoors, and 40 to 60 feet outdoors.
- Routes range from 5.5 for beginners to 5.14 for experts.
- There are 7 distinct climbing areas, including the outdoor routes, and bouldering areas.
- There are lead, top rope, and auto-belay walls, as well as a 15 meter speed climbing wall.
- There are numerous training areas/walls for skilled climbers, including a Moon Board, an adjustable wall, and a Campus Board.
- A new child-accessible bouldering area is currently being added with build-out expected Fall 2014.
If I’ve not gained your full attention at this point, you’re probably not interested in climbing; otherwise, change into your best adventure/climbing attire and go get your climb on!
Special Note: NO loose chalk is allowed indoors, only chalk balls.